FOR A FRUITFUL LABOUR
Friday, 17 January 2020
1 Corinthians 15 : 33-58
“Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” -1 Cor. 15: 58
From the key verse, there are a few key thoughts that the Spirit of God wants to impress on our hearts to align our daily walk with the Lord and to become fruitful in our spiritual endeavors. However, there are always hindrances that come in our way trying to prevent our move. We will look into them and understand how to move forward overcoming all of them.
What do we do to be steadfast? A few simple steps:
I. Forget the Past
The past is a great obstacle for many. Past incidents that inflicted pain, hurting memories of past relationships, reactions of peers in the past, circumstances that left a negative imprint on the mind, failures in previous endeavors—all play an important role in shaping your present character. Paul says in Philippians 3:14 – “but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind … I press toward the goal …” A running athlete ensures that he has the least possible weight on his body that hinders his run. Often life’s incidents hang on us weighing us down. With a heavy heart, one cannot spread the gospel of freedom to others.
Jesus said to His disciples who were of “unbelief and hardness of heart”: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:14-15) Fit enough to be gospel preachers?? Jesus knew that after a while, they would be endued with the divine power – the infilling of the Holy Spirit! When Jesus looked at these seemingly cowards, he did not focus on their failures and inability but equipped them for the tasks ahead. He who sees the far future, He who has plans to prosper us, He who desires to see our lives shine like lamps in this dark world –calls us to move forward looking at the Author and Finisher of our faith!
To a failed fisherman, Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men!” (Luke 5:10) If Peter had still wasted his time moaning his failures, he wouldn’t have moved forward. But his decision is seen in his words to Jesus: “At Your Word, I will let down the net.” A man of GOD has thus said, “Failure is not falling down, it’s staying down.” Forget the past and move forward!
II. Focus the Goal
In Phil.3:14 Paul speaks of pressing on for the upward call of God. In Acts 20:24 Paul says, “…my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
Distractions always lure us, deviating or slowing us down. Jesus in the Parable of the Sower described the thorns that grew along with the seeds and choked the seed, which He explained as the worry of the world, deceitfulness of wealth (Matt.13:22), the desires for other things (Mark 4:19), worries and riches and pleasures of this life (Luke 8:14). Let us lay aside every weight and the sin, that easily entangles us… (Heb.12:1). Whatever hinders us, we are at a juncture to make some hard choices of life. The Bible puts the onus on us, to “lay aside.” Jesus asked the rich young ruler to let go of the one thing that was standing between him and God (Mark 10:21).
III. Follow the LORD
Finally, to be steadfast, immovable, and abounding in the Lord’s work, we need to follow our Leader who left an example for us to follow in His steps. (1Pet. 2:21). Jesus called His disciples to follow Him (eg. Matt.4:19, Mark1:17). It was not an employment contract, but an awesome authoritative call to which His disciples heeded as though being attracted by an invisible force! In Matt.10:38 Jesus requires us to take up our cross and follow Him. Our lives need to be centred on Him, revolving around the person of Christ. Many resourceful and efficient people of God are simply not effective in the Kingdom of God, because they do not follow the Leader!! He expects us to have an intimate, passionate relationship with Him.
To Act on:
Stop pondering over the past! Don’t be startled by the present! But follow the steps of our Leader and seek to do His will alone. Then reap a great harvest for Him!
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